For this, the 2015 Holiday Spectacular episode, I was happy to be joined in-studio by my friends Mira Gonzalez, Tyler Madsen, and Gene Morgan. They arrived at my house to help me execute a simple plan: we would drink alcohol together and call people and record it. And that's what we did.
Happy holidays, everybody. This is the final show of 2015. Thanks for all of your continued support. I appreciate it very much and will talk to you in the new year.
Brandi Wells is the guest. Her latest novel, This Boring Apocalypse, is available now from Civil Coping Mechanisms.
Brandi moved to LA recently to get her PhD. She's going to be a doctor of literature. She's a shy Southern girl originally from Georgia and spent time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which she loved, and which she misses, and we talk about that. She is also very much into body dismemberment—I don't mean to say that she wants to dismember anyone, or be dismembered herself. She's just fascinated with the body and with the alteration and desecration of the body, and with the body generally. We talk about that, too. What else? She used to hula hoop a lot. Not in a hippie way. In a circus way. And she grew up going to a Pentecostal church where people spoke in tongues and writhed on the ground, electrified by the power of The Lord. All of this and more in today's episode.
In the monologue, I talk about the shutting down of LAUSD schools due to an unspecific terrorism threat, and about the fear in the air, and my outrage over all of the recent violence and America's stupid gun laws, and the chaos and horrors of the Middle East, and so on, and so on. All of it. I attempt to get it off my chest.
Alexandra Kleeman is the guest. Her debut novel, You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine, is available now from Harper.
Alexandra is from Boulder, so we have that in common. Not that I'm "from" Boulder, but I did live there for eight years, went to college there, and so on. The feeling I came away with after talking to her is that she's an unusually kind person. She's one of those people who emanates goodness. Just sweet as could be. And behind that sweetness is a really fierce intelligence. Her book has been getting all kinds of raves, and Ben Marcus called it "the fiction of the future" or something along those lines, and he tends to be right about those kinds of things, so...a very promising start to a literary career. And I'm happy I got to talk with Alexandra just as things are getting under way.
In today's monologue I talk about the holidays. And jury duty. And then at the tail end of the show I talk about some movies I've seen recently.
Nic Kelman is the guest. His new novel, How to Pass As Human, is now available from Dark Horse Comics. Nic is also an accomplished screenwriter—he sold a script to Stephen Spielberg a few years back and has since made other sales for other projects.
Funny story: Nic and I are neighbors and didn't know it. He walked over, sat down, we talked. Very pleased to have a guest on the show who works in film and television in addition to writing books. It's a no-brainer for a podcast based in LA and something I need to do more often. It's on my list for 2016. Nic is a smart guy with a deep interest in artificial intelligence. He studied brain and cognitive science at MIT, with a minor in film and media studies. How's that for a combination? I did my best to keep up.
In today's monologue, I discuss Thanksgiving and the perils of holiday travel and the fact that I haven't gone anywhere in way too long. I also discuss a text message that my wife sent me in the middle of the monologue which underscored this very point and made me feel like a negligent parent.